Chennai: Ever since Tamilisai Soundararajan was appointed as Telangana Governor, rumours are going around as to who would be appointed the next party chief. Even before Amit Shah could make a formal announcement, a section of the media and a few opposition party men have concluded and even held marathon debates on Rajinikanth being the possible candidate. Interestingly, there has been no response from Rajinikanth's camp.
Sources close to Rajinikanth laughed at such a thought being planted in the minds of people. They say, "It is no doubt the handiwork of few parties who fear Rajinikanth's entry into politics. They are in a bid to weaken him in the backdrop of strong anti-BJP sentiment. Damage his reputation by claiming that he would be the next BJP president here."
"Even if Rajinikanth goes ahead and floats his own political party, which he will after March 2020, these people would say he is the B team of the BJP. Just because he had appreciated Modi, Amit Shah and supported abrogation of Art 370, he cannot be called a BJP man. He made it clear that his politics would be different - Aanmeega arasiyal (spiritual politics)."
A few others say that "The opposition lacks even the basic political knowledge when they make such allegations. He (Rajinikanth) is not even a member of the BJP, forget him becoming the party president. He has said his focus is the 2021 Assembly elections. He would contest alone in his own party and there ends the matter."
However, the BJP is taking cautious steps. "Rajini feels that the BJP's policies are in the interest of the nation. We are open to any party and person joining us in the welfare of the nation and the state," said BJP spokesperson, Narayan Tirupathi.
In December 2017, Rajinikanth said, "My entry into politics is definitive. This (entry into politics) is because of the compulsion of time."
He has begun Rajinikanth Makkal Manram and the enrolment of members are on. Office-bearers are appointed at all levels.